Classic Jokes You Couldn’t Pull Today

Unlike acid wash jeans, there are certain things that deserve a comeback—like these hilarious hijinks. But while you can’t pull jokes like this anymore, you can check out a slew of outrageous new ones during the series premiere of “Impractical Jokers,” tonight at 10p/9c on truTV.

1. Pantsing

You could never get away with this today because the victim would almost certainly file a sexual harrassment claim against you, and checking out your bro’s ducky boxers is definitely not worth a cease and desist.

2. Changing Your Friends’ Answering Machine Messages

This one was especially big on friends’ home phones (“landlines”). It also is no longer possible for two reasons: 1) most answering machines no longer use tapes and it’s pretty hard to figure out how to change the message, and 2) no-one has landlines anymore and it’s not exactly easy to swipe your friend’s cellphone and quickly change the voicemail message to something funny.

3. Pulling Fire Alarms To Get Out Of Class

If schools even have this obsolete type of fire alarm now, the repercussions that come with pulling it now are too severe: a few months ago, some college students got arrested for pulling the fire alarm at their school.

4. Ruining Someone’s VHS Tape With A Magnet

Considering literally no-one owns VHS tapes anymore, this practical joke is long gone.

5. TPing A House

If you tried to pull this one these days, not only would you probably be faced with a hefty fine and lots of yelling, but people would attack you not just for being rude, but for being environmentally irresponsible as well. Think of how many butts those toilet paper rolls could have serviced and how many trees were cut down to do it! How wasteful of you.

6. Putting A Tack On Your Teacher’s Chair

Back in the ’90s you probably could have gotten away with this or maybe gone to detention after school. Now, this classic would likely result in your expulsion and definitely some counseling. Clearly anyone who would commit such a horrendous act must have the mind of a future criminal.

7. Chain Letter Emails

Back in the ’90s when the mainstream Internet was still relatively young, but rapidly growing. People didn’t understand that chain emails were just trolling, and that if they made a wish and didn’t forward the email to eighty of their closest friends, then they would die. Fortunately, we’re all smarter than that now.

8. Itching Powder + Toilet Paper

One of the more uncomfortable practical jokes on this list, people used to dump itching powder on unsuspecting friends’ toilet paper rolls. One of the most popular brands at the time had asbestos in it, and uh, we try to avoid that these days. Not only would itching powder on toilet paper be a terrible situation in the first place, but also, your skin would get seriously effed up.

9. Saying Someone Died

“LOL I don’t know where she is, maybe she got attacked by a pack of rabid street cats on the way over.” Everyone heard this growing up back in the ’90s. Now, though, it would never work. You could try, but five minutes later someone would check their smartphone and see that the person MIA just checked into a pizza place on Foursquare, tweeted about it, and then posted it on Facebook.

10. Crank Calling

In this classic joke call, a man accuses his neighbor of casually and needlessly kicking his dog. Hilarity ensues. Unfortunately, this former staple of practical jokers doesn’t work anymore because most people just text, and if you did call someone, their caller ID would give the whole ruse away.

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